Read this and other attacks on faith from Weekly Prayer Update 7/23/18 to 7/30/18
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – President Ronald Reagan
National Prayer Points
“In God We Trust” was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956. The phrase was designed as an alternative to E pluribus unum, which was the unofficial motto first used in 1782 when the Great Seal of the United States was also created. The phrase may have originated from the words of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” written during the War of 1812. The fourth stanza includes the phrase, “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our Trust.’” The motto first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864 and on paper currency in 1957 (a one-dollar silver certificate). The law making In God We Trust the national motto was passed through a joint resolution by the 84th Congress (P.L. 84-851) and signed by President Dwight Eisenhower on July 30, 1956.
“109 MORE REASONS: Sen. Ted Cruz & Rep. Steve Scalise lead 109 members of Congress in submitting an Amicus Brief in the Supreme Court to stop the courts from tearing down the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial.”
Last week the U.S. Department of State hosted the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. For three days they convened religious leaders, rights advocates, members of civil society, government officials, and representatives of international organizations from around the world to discuss the challenges facing religious freedom, identify concrete means to address persecution of and discrimination against religious groups, and promote greater respect for religious freedom for all. Survivors or close relatives of those who suffered persecution due to their religious beliefs also shared their stories, powerfully declaring that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. Watch comments from Secretary Pompeo and Vice President Pence. Also, watch videos of Ambassador-At-Large Sam Brownback and others.
International Prayer Points
Iran: Religious Intolerance On The Rise
“Mohammad Salas, a member of the Iranian Gonabadi Sufi dervish community persecuted by the Iranian regime for its beliefs, was convicted and sentenced to death on questionable grounds following violent clashes between security forces and Gonabadi dervishes. Mr. Salas and his supporters maintained his innocence, reportedly stating he had been tortured into a forced confession. Sadly, on June 18 the regime hanged Mr. Salas in the notorious Rajai Shahr Prison.
Salas’s death was part of a larger crackdown on Gonabadi Sufi Muslims that began in February. Hundreds of Sufi Muslims in Iran remain imprisoned on account of their beliefs, with reports of several dying at the hands of Iran’s brutal security forces. The religious intolerance of the regime in Iran also applies to Christians, Jews, Sunnis, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, and other minority religious groups simply trying to practice their faiths.”
“The ACLJ represents the family of Pastor Andrew – a U.S. citizen from Black Mountain, North Carolina – who has spent nearly 21 months imprisoned in Turkey because of his Christian faith. Pastor Andrew has been on trial for the crime of “Christianization,” and the ACLJ has been working in this country and abroad to secure his freedom.
We have confirmed that the Turkish government has issued an order releasing Pastor Andrew from prison and allowing him to be returned to his home in Turkey. This is a critical first step that we believe will result in the freedom of Pastor Andrew so he can return to the United States and be reunited with his family.”
State Prayer Points
Religious Liberty Legislation: Continue praying consistently and fervently for the successful passage of legislation that effectively protects our Judeo-Christian heritage and First Amendment Rights. Also, pray that bills and resolutions that undermine our Rights will be unsuccessful.
The CPCF legal team has researched best practices legislation and provided talking points on various religious freedom topics to assist legislators. Download their Report. View a model school invocation policy.
“The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that Chino Valley school board meetings, which are open to the public and include student attendees, may not include prayers or other religious exercises.”
“AB 2943 poses an imminent threat to civil liberties in California. It does little to protect LGBT persons and only limits the number of perspectives (and assistance) they have access to, while setting a dangerous, Orwellian precedent for government-mandated censorship…This expansive law would impose widespread censorship that could implicate authors, speakers, counselors, colleges and universities, and even religious leaders seeking to address unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion. The bill has passed the General Assembly and is set for the third reading in the senate after it reconvenes on August 6th. Use these Talking Points when calling your senator or the Governor.
“The University of Iowa has enacted a scorched-Earth campaign against its students’ freedom of association, deregistering dozens of campus groups in the wake of a court ruling that found the public school guilty of selectively enforcing its human rights policy against one of its Christian clubs.”
CPCF Legal Team: The case involves the Bladensburg Peace Cross, a memorial to area men who died in the First World War. It has stood since 1925 without bothering anyone until in 2014 the American Humanist Association felt that the monument violates the Constitution’s establishment clause. The district judge tossed the case, holding that the tiny amount of government money that is spent on upkeep does not endorse religion. The Fourth Circuit held 2-1 that this offends the First Amendment. On the petition for rehearing en banc the court declined by 8-6. Pray that the Supreme Court takes this case and reverses the Fourth Circuit ruling.
The Ninth Circuit has upheld the firing of a high school football coach because, after a game, he went to the middle of the field and silently kneeled and thanked God. He had earlier acquiesced in the school’s request not to invite players to join him, but his kneeling when students could see him was enough for the court to say his private action was not protected. The logic of this ruling reaches a multitude of actions by teachers, such as having a Bible on the desk, wearing an hijab on the head or a cross on a necklace, and having a bumper sticker showing a church affiliation. The coach has requested the Supreme Court to review the case, and CPCF is joining a brief asking the Court to do so as well. Pray that the Court will do so and protect the right of teachers to pray in appropriate circumstances.
Prayer for the American Prayer Caucus Network and CPCFoundation
The American Prayer Caucus Network is a nationwide network of nearly 1,000 federal and state elected leaders who are standing for faith and impacting the culture. Please join us in praying daily for them, their families, and staff.
Each week Congress is in session, members of Congressional Prayer Caucus meet before votes to pray in Room 219 of the U.S. Capitol. Please pray for the CPC to continue to grow and be increasingly effective for generations to come.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Tim. 2, Psalm 91
Include: Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, Military, Faith Leaders, First Responders, Etc.
The Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization created to support government leaders who wish to partner prayer with legislative and citizen action to protect our Judeo-Christian heritage and religious freedom. Please pray for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation team, our State Directors, legal team, Board of Directors, web developers, technical team, production team, design and graphics team, CPCF intercessors and donors.
Email me to join the CPCF Prayer Team! Commit to praying for the Members and families of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, The American Prayer Caucus Network, and the CPCFoundation.
Prayer for Anti-Faith Groups
Freedom From Religion Foundation
American Civil Liberties Union
American Humanists Association
Secular Coalition for America
Military Religious Freedom Foundation